EGU23-12728, updated on 24 Apr 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Polar sea-salt aerosols in CMIP6 models

Rémy Lapere1, Jennie L. Thomas1, Louis Marelle2, Annica M. L. Ekman3,4, Markus M. Frey5, Marianne T. Lund6, Risto Makkonen7, Ananth Ranjithkumar5, Matthew E. Salter3,8, Bjørn H. Samset6, Michael Schulz9, Larisa Sogacheva7, Xin Yang5, and Paul Zieger3,8
Rémy Lapere et al.
  • 1Université Grenoble Alpes, Institut des Géosciences et de l'Environnement, France (
  • 2LATMOS/IPSL, Sorbonne Université, UVSQ, CNRS, Paris, France
  • 3Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 4Bolin Center for Climate Research, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 5Natural Environment Research Council, British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK
  • 6CICERO Center for International Climate Research, Oslo, Norway
  • 7Finnish Meteorological Institute, Climate Research Programme, Helsinki, Finland
  • 8Department of Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 9Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway

We present an inter-comparison of simulated sea-salt aerosols (SSA) in CMIP6 models, including an evaluation against station observations in the Artic and Antarctic regions and satellite data. Drivers of model diversity are investigated. Historical and future trends are also explored and connected to their driving mechanisms. Additionally, the sensitivity of the polar radiative budget to SSA in CMIP6 models is quantified and put in relation to present-day uncertainties and future trends. 

Comparisons suggest (i) a large inter-model spread in SSA surface concentrations mostly driven by the diversity in source functions, (ii) an important overestimation of SSA surface concentrations compared to measurement stations but reasonable agreement with optical depth from satellite data, (iii) difficulties in properly capturing the annual cycle of SSA at both poles, particularly at higher latitude. A generally increasing trend in SSA concentrations is found in CMIP6 over the last decades and in future scenarios. CMIP6 models show that SSA contribute to cooling the poles significantly, implying possible uncertainties of several W/m2 in the present-day polar radiative budget.

How to cite: Lapere, R., Thomas, J. L., Marelle, L., Ekman, A. M. L., Frey, M. M., Lund, M. T., Makkonen, R., Ranjithkumar, A., Salter, M. E., Samset, B. H., Schulz, M., Sogacheva, L., Yang, X., and Zieger, P.: Polar sea-salt aerosols in CMIP6 models, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12728,, 2023.